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What Are the Most Common Leg Injuries From an Auto Accident?

Car accidents are a regular occurrence on America’s roads, and, unfortunately, they’re often accompanied by injury. The legs are one of the most vulnerable body parts to injury in a collision. In fact, a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission determined that at least 37% of car accidents involved an injury to the legs. Read on to learn about the most common leg injuries from auto accidents, and what you should do if you’re involved in a collision.


Also called contusions, bruises are the most commonly expected physical injuries after a car accident. They’re usually visible on the skin, including the leg, and are marked by discoloration that ranges from blue to dark yellow. 

Bruises are usually among the least of the injuries you’ll experience from a car accident, and they’re typically found in places where the body impacted an object. A more severe bruise is called a hematoma—they’re much more painful and tender. Sometimes, bruising can signal significant damage to tissues, so even if they aren’t painful, they should be examined by a doctor.


Cuts, or lacerations, are common on legs and other areas of the body after a car collision. Like bruising, they usually cause no reason for alarm if they’re treated properly. If you have a cut from a collision, use direct pressure to stop the bleeding. Seek medical attention immediately if the bleeding doesn’t stop, or if you start to feel dizzy.

Broken or Crushed Bones

Any of the bones in your body are vulnerable to injury in a car accident. In some cases, your legs may experience an impact that damages the bones and tissue around them. A crush injury can cause anything from fractures to completely shattered bones. Aside from getting immediate medical attention to properly set the bones, when necessary, you can often expect to follow a physical therapy program to support your full recovery. 

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissues in the legs, including cartilage, ligaments, nerves, and tendons can be damaged during a car collision. Depending on the severity and type of damage, these injuries can be very painful and require long recovery times. Sprains, for example, affect tendons and ligaments, whereas strains impact muscle and fascia. Failing to treat the affected areas properly can even cause lifelong, recurring pain.

Most soft tissue injuries require a significant amount of rest and time for recovery. Your doctor may recommend the RICE method—rest, ice, compression, and elevation–to treat the injury. In some cases, advanced treatment options like injections or physical therapy are necessary for a full recovery.

ACL Injuries

The impact of a car accident often causes a vehicle occupant’s legs to twist suddenly, or to hyperextend the knee. This can often cause a sprain or tear to the ACL, and it comes with significant levels of pain. 

Most people who experience an ACL injury will hear a popping or cracking sound, followed by severe pain in the area. If you’re unable to stand or put on weight on the affected leg–or you notice swelling in the knee and a reduced range of motion—reach out to your doctor immediately.

Seek Medical Attention If You’re Involved in a Collision—No Matter How Minor It Seems

Car accidents can be scary and unexpected events that can leave you feeling shaken up and confused. While some accidents may seem minor, seeking medical attention immediately after it occurs is crucial. Even if you don’t feel any immediate symptoms, it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional to ensure that there are no underlying injuries that could cause issues down the road, especially leg injuries that could impact your mobility.

Take the first step in your full recovery by partnering with the caring medical team at Impact Medical Group of St. Petersburg. Call us today at (727) 722-8103 to schedule your free, comprehensive evaluation!